Advice about how to write a CV
Writing a great CV is easy if you have sufficient experience, skills, and interests. However, people often slip up on the basics of writing a good CV. There are several essential tips to take into account when writing a Curriculum Vitae. Heed the advice on this page in order to create a successful CV and secure your next job!
Tips to writing a good CV
Spelling on Your CV
The first bit of CV advice is that you must have correct spelling and grammar. Read back over your Curriculum Vitae several times before sending it to a company. If you have grammatical mistakes or spelling errors then you will immediately come across as a careless candidate with little attention to detail. If you have misspelled even one word then the information on your CV, no matter how impressive, loses much of its significance. Spelling is a vital component when writing a CV.
The format of your CV is of crucial importance. You may write your Curriculum Vitae in Microsoft Word or Publisher. However, you must always remember to ‘Save…’ your CV document as a pdf. file. The reason for this is that a pdf document will not change format, no matter who you send it to. Whereas, a Word document is liable to change format because there are different versions of the program. Or worse, the recipient will not have Microsoft Office and won’t be able to open the document. Pdf’s will always open. Even if your CV looks brilliant on your computer screen, if it is on Word it may look entirely different (and unprofessional) on someone else’s monitor.
Remember that there are a range of templates you can use for your CV. Consult our dedicated CV template page to find out more.
Including a photo on your CV
Many people are unsure whether to include a photo or picture on their CV. There is not much harm in inputting a photograph of yourself on your CV profile. You must be careful, however, not to compromise your CV design. The writing on your CV is the most important part and therefore you should not get rid of essential text to fit in a photo. Your CV layout should be focused around what you write, not on including a photo which will most likely have no bearing on getting a job. Moreover, you do not want to risk a potential employer ‘judging a book by its cover’ and making a decision about hiring you or not based on your appearance before reading the CV.
Another important point about including an image on your CV is that, even if you decide that putting a photo on your Curriculum Vitae is advantageous to you, make sure it is not of you at a party or doing anything inappropriate. Always present a smart photograph of yourself looking like a competent, serious professional.
Update your CV regularly
It can be all too easy to put lots of effort into writing a good CV, and then forget to update it when you gain new experiences or skills. You must update it regularly and keep adding to it every time you learn something new; through this you will develop a diverse, full CV and also won’t forget any information.
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